"The Greatest Hunt For South Indian Food In NYC!" DOSA HUNT is a short documentary in which I hoped to frame a transitional generation in America's immigrant and art experience through the prism of good food (the South Indian staple dish, dosa), and good friends who happen to be incredible musicians: Rostam Batmanglij (of Vampire Weekend), Alan Palomo (of Neon Indian), Himanshu Suri and Ashok Kondabolu (both formerly of Das Racist), and the jazz pianist/MacArthur Genius/now Harvard professor Vijay Iyer. (I'm in it, too.)
The premise: A Twitter conversation between Rostam, Himanshu, and myself spawns a search for New York City's best dosa, and along the way, some great conversations, from idli to identity.
The film premiered over a series of sold-out screenings at Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg in October of 2012, with Q&As moderated by the legend, John Norris -- Billboard Magazine documents it well -- and went on to screen at many film festivals including Bumbershoot in Seattle, Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, New York Indian Film Festival, FLOW Festival in Helsinki, and at dedicated event at San Francisco's Asian Art Museum for CAAM Fest, amongst many others.
DOSA HUNT has generated a tremendous press response all over the world, with a full page feature in New York Magazine (who called it "sharply funny"), one in The Times Of India ("‘Dosa Hunt’ is more than just a search for New York’s best dosa. It’s a short film about the Indian community’s growth and search for cultural roots in the US"), and Norris's piece in Interview Magazine ("Part No Reservations, part Big Brother, part something smarter, with lots of laughs, something to learn, and - naturally, given the company - an amazing soundtrack"). The film also was featured on BBC TV World News and national public radio programs like PRI's The World, WNYC's Soundcheck, and KCRW's Good Food.
DOSA HUNT benefitted from the outstanding work of some generous and gracious collaborators, including the inspired and tireless editor/producer Zoe Schack, the eye-popping graphics and animation of The Wilderness, sound design and supervision by Sachar Mathias, color grading by Nice Shoes, and an instantly iconic logo and poster by the great NYC tattoo artist Anil Gupta. (Anil's work references his father's, as the poster artist behind the classic Bollywood film Sholay. It's a great story, detailed nicely in this profile on the film's poster by FADER.)
More announcements with respect to the film coming soon.
DOSA HUNT is a short film by Amrit Singh featuring a diverse group of music-world friends -- Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij, Das Racist's Himanshu Suri and Ashok "Dapwell" Kondabolu, Yeasayer's Anand Wilder, Neon Indian's Alan Palomo, jazz pianist Vijay Iyer, and Stereogum's Executive Editor, Singh -- on a quest to find their hometown's best dosa. The delicious traditional South Indian crepe has earned this long-overdue cinematic closeup. But our our heroes' journey -- bantering in an Indian disco van, eating their way through the restaurants and grocery stores of Manhattan and Queens -- also explores the shared and respective cultures of this vibrant group of NYC artists in the wilds of their city. Called “sharply funny” by New York Magazine, “part No Reservations, part Big Brother part something smarter” by Interview Magazine, and “a short film about the Indian community’s growth and search for cultural roots in the US” by The Times Of India, DOSA HUNT is a snapshot of a transitional generation in America's immigrant/art experience, in hot pursuit of good food. Set to a killer soundtrack.